Business News HMV Timeline Retail

One less store closure for HMV, as last minute deal done with Kettering landlord

By | Published on Monday 13 January 2014


As HMV shut its old Oxford Street store for the final time yesterday (it now having a central London base at a newer smaller store, which is also its older old store, just down the road), news came in that one of the entertainment retailer’s regional shops also scheduled for closure this month has now been saved.

As previously reported, HMV announced last month that nine shops around the UK would be shut this month. Since Hilco bought the entertainment retailer out of acquisition last April, it has been trying to renegotiate rent payments, being clear from the start that the old HMV Group’s rent commitments were simply untenable. This month’s closures are at sites where rent renegotiation efforts were unsuccessful.

But one of the shops scheduled for closure, in Kettering, is now set to remain, after Hilco reached a deal with the owners of the town’s Newlands Shopping Centre. This despite the owner of the shopping complex hitting out at reports that an inflexible landlord was the cause of the closure of the town’s HMV store. A spokesman for Newlands operator Ellandi claimed last week that his company had been uber-flexible with HMV, but that Hilco had been pushing for zero rent.

Now, it seems, a deal could eventually be done, meaning the closing-down signs were being removed from the Kettering store’s windows on Friday. Newlands Centre Manager Neil Griffin confirmed to the Northamptonshire Telegraph that HMV would remain at his mall for the foreseeable future.

Griffin told the paper: “Keeping HMV at the heart of the Newlands is great news for both the shopping centre and the town centre. In spite of the move to downloading music and movies there is no substitute for a visit to a great retail store and no retailer has the heritage, expertise and choice that HMV provide”.

He went on: “We were keen to keep HMV in the town when their lease expired and with both parties being flexible in the terms we have agreed we have forged a deal which will see the brand continue to be represented in Kettering. It is important that the shopping offer in Kettering offers variety and quality and HMV certainly delivers both these requirements in style. With the £1,000,000 recent refurbish and the strength and variety of our stores we are looking forward to a better than ever centre for 2014”.